Ayoka is a proud native New Yorker from Laurelton, Queens. A reader since the age of three, she always loved writing poetry and short stories. She left New York in 2009 for Richmond Virginia, where she met local authors. They encouraged her to take her love of writing to the next stage. She developed her skills and in 2015, published her first book, Forsaking All Others In 2019, Ayoka launched her business, Voice of God Publishing. Ayoka also serves in her church, The Sanctuary RIC, as a Minister and Administrator. When she isn’t writing, she loves to unwind at local spoken word events as a performer and participant.
BLAQVERSITY MAGAZINE: How did your journey as an author began?
AYOKA BOYCE: My journey began with a phone call. I reconnected with an old boyfriend that I hadn’t talked to in over 20 years. After our conversation, I grabbed a notebook and began writing.
BLAQVERSITY: Was becoming a writer something you always wanted to pursue? Who motivated you?
AYOKA BOYCE: I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I’ve read since the age of three. My father was my biggest motivator. He was very adamant about my studies.
BLAQVERSITY: What are some of your favorite authors out right now?
AYOKA: I absolutely cannot narrow them down. I read new authors all the time. I love reading different genres, from Christian, drama, and urban lit. The books I enjoy best are full with lots of action.
BLAQVERSITY: Since becoming a published author, what challenges have you faced if any?
AYOKA: My biggest challenge is following through with ‘great book ideas’. I have lots of works-in- progress, but haven’t carved the time to complete them.
BLAQVERSITY: How many books have you written? What is your genre?
AYOKA: I have written and published five books. My genre is Christian Fiction and Non Fiction. I’m extending my genres to include business and mystery.
BLAQVERSITY: What message do you want your readers to take away when reading your books?
AYOKA: Every character represents someone in my life. Sometimes for good and sometimes not. The stories aren’t true, but I use personalities of family members and friends to create. Usually it’s the same personalities that have caused some pain, but I heal through the writing.
BLAQVERSITY: Do you have any writing tips/suggestions for any new author who wants to write their book but doesn’t know where to start?
AYOKA: Get a coach, a writing partner or get in an accountability group. There are people who are gifted and talented to help you bring your story. Don’t struggle alone and don’t be intimidated by the process.
BLAQVERSITY: What does being an author mean to you?
AYOKA: Becoming an author saved me from a life of bitterness. I’ve worked through many inner demons and fears through the voices of my characters. This is ministry for myself and, hopefully, to my readers.
BLAQVERSITY: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
AYOKA: Five years from now, my publishing company will be a large, full service publishing house. I’m steadily investing in my company, resources and industry education.
BLAQVERSITY: Have you ever thought about being an author full-time?
AYOKA: My dream is to split my time between writing, publishing and all things literary. I’m in my best zone when I’m behind the computer and editing an author’s work.
BLAQVERSITY: If you could co-author with any author in the world, who would it be and why?
AYOKA: I would love to co author with Steven King. He’s been scaring me for many years but I always go back to him! I want my writing to be impactful and unforgettable.
BLAQVERSITY: Tell us about your marketing strategies as an author? Do you find it to be challenging at times when promoting your books?
AYOKA: I’m still finding my niche in marketing. My goal is to build a team for social media and marketing. Right now, it’s just me. My challenges are with consistency and my work load.
BLAQVERSITY: How can readers connect with you and support you?
AYOKA: I love to connect! I’m on Social Media under my name Ayoka Boyce. I published some of my books under my Author name Nikki P Serene and others are under my own name, Ayoka Boyce.
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